Company helps premature baby - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Company helps premature baby

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June 7, 2004

Albany- Tonja Spencer is brought to tears when she looks at her tiny daughter.

"She only weighed one pound, 3 ounces at birth. I had developed toxemia. The only cure for that disease is to deliver the baby," she says.

Tia-Annzah Nicole was born 3 months premature. Her father Eric says he's never given up on his daughter, and neither have his co-workers.

"I give everybody updates whenever they ask and just let them all be informed because they are a part of this too," he says.

So much a part, they decided they had to do something to help.

"Me being the father of a premature child myself I knew the astronomical burdens that were going to be on them right from the start," says Glen Eric Rakestrau.

For the past four weeks, the employees at Pratt Industries have raised hundreds of dollars in honor of Tia-Annzah. In addition, the company has agreed to match whatever their employees raise.

"I'm looking forward to seeing Tia-Annzah play with those same little babies that were born on the same day she was born. That's my vision that one day she'll be on the playground right beside them, and just knowing that all of us here had a part in that just makes you feel good," adds Jeffrey McDowell says.

"It's unbelievable to me especially this day and age when people just don't have a lot of care for one anther. When this was presented to me I was floored, I was," says the baby's mother.

When she's finally able to come home, Tia-Annzah's parents say one of their first outings will be a trip to Pratt.

"Its going to be wonderful for her to meet all of the people who loved her and prayed for her. She's going to be tickled pink," her father laughs.

And so will her father's co-workers who say they can't wait to meet the baby they're working hard to help support.

The Spencers say their daughter has been progressing since her birth. She now weighs two pounds and is feeding continuously. She's expected to spend at least two more months in the hospital.

Posted at 5:50 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com

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